<= DeCSS Central Main Page


Special Regulations for Computer Programmes

Subject of the Protection

(1) Computer programmes in the sense of this law are programmes in any kind
of form, including the draft material.

(2) The protection is granted for all kind of representations of a computer
programme. Ideas and basic principles that underlie an element of the
computer programme, including the ideas and principles that underlie the
interfaces, are not protected.

(3) Computer programmes are protected, if they are individual work in the
sense, that they are the result of an intellectual creation of their author.
To determine their protectability no other criteria, especially no
qualitative or aesthetic ones, are applicable.

(4) The regulations concerning Works of Speech are applicable to computer
programmes unless not stated otherwise in this Section.

Actions requiring Consent

The copyright holder holds the exclusive right to perform or to allow the
following actions:

(1) The permanent or temporary duplication, as a whole or in parts, of a
computer programme by any means or in any form. As far as the loading, the
running, the translating or saving of the computer programme require a
duplication, these actions require the consent of the copyright holder.

(2) The translation, the revision, the arrangement or other processing of a
computer programme as well as the duplication of the obtained results. The
rights of those who process the programme are not touched upon.

(3) Any form of spreading the original of a computer programme or of copied
versions, including the renting. If the copy of computer programme is
brought into circulation within the region of the European Union with the
consent of the copyright holder by way of disposal, the right to spread this
copy with exception of the right to renting is exhausted.

Exceptions to the Actions requiring Consent

(1) As far as no special contractual regulations exist, the actions
mentioned in §69c nr (1) and (2) do not require the consent of the
copyright holder, if they are necessary for the intended usage of the
computer programme, including the correction of errors, by a person entitled
to use a copy of the programme.

(2) The creation of a backup copy by a person entitled to use the programme
must not be denied contractually, if necessary for the future usage of the

(3) Persons entitled to use a copy of a programme are allowed without
consent of the copyright holder to observe, investigate or test the
operation of that programme to determine the basic ideas and principles of
an element of the programme, if this is performed by the actions of loading,
displaying, running, translating, or saving of the programme, to which he is


(1) The consent of the holder of rights is not necessary, if the duplication
of the code or the translation of the code form according to §69c No 1 and 2
is imperative to get the information necessary to produce the
interoperability of a independently created computer programme with other
programmes, as long as the following conditions are met:

1. The action is performed by the licensee, or by an other person entitled
to use a copy of the programme, or by a person entitled to perform the

2. The informations necessary to produce the interoperability are not yet
accessible just like that to the person mentioned in nr (1).

3. The actions are restricted to those parts of the original programme,
which are necessary to produce the interoperability.

(2) The informations gathered by actions according to (1) may not

1. be used for other purposes than to produce the interoperability of the
independently created programme.

2. be given to a third party, unless it is necessary for the production of
the interoperability of the independently created programme.

3. be used for the development, production, or marketing of a programme with
essentially the same form of expression or for any other actions, which
violate the copyright.

(3) The paragraphs (1) and (2) are to be interpreted such that their
application does neither restrict the normal utilisation of the work nor
violate the legal interests of the copyright holder in an unreasonable